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The changing employee-employer relationship

This is a research paper that you will complete on your own and it is worth 20% of your course grade. For this project, you will select a very specific OB concept that you want to learn more about and that you think would be useful for you to learn more about. You will look up and summarize some of the research findings regarding this concept and discuss its relevance and usefulness to managers. You will likely not come close to covering all the research on the concept, but it will be important to highlight some of the research findings about it (that you found most interesting and useful) in an organized fashion and discuss relevance for managers and organizations. The following are questions to answer but you are not limited to only these questions:

1.      How is the concept defined by the original or main author of the concept and what would be an example of this concept in the workplace?

2.      Why is this concept important for managers to know about?

3.      What are some of the things that this concept has been found to be related to in the organizational research? For example, what are some of the known causes of this concept, what are some of its consequences and/or what else is it related to in the workplace?

4.      How can managers or organizations use this information? For example, how might it change how managers think about particular work problems or the employees they manage? Or what should managers or organizations do differently given what we have learned about this concept?

There are three objectives to this individual project. First, it will give you an opportunity to sink more deeply into a particular OB topic so you come away with a more expert understanding of it. Two, it will give you an appreciation for the research that lays behind the knowledge we share in this course. Third, it will give you confidence to look up primary research to find answers to organizational problems and apply those findings to improve organizational practice.




You will likely find it easier to focus on a specific concept in the textbook. If it’s too broad you may find this task overwhelming. For example, you may want to focus on personality traits or perceptual biases, but you would benefit from choosing one concept within, such as ‘openness to experience’ or ‘fundamental attribution error’. You may want to peruse the textbook chapters and find a particular concept that sounds like something worth learning more about. Ultimately, your goal is to find something very specific to focus on and summarize some of the research about it in more depth.



Here are some tips that may help you get started, but you are welcome to use a different approach:

·       Consider the endnotes in the section of the textbook where your concept is mentioned. For example, in Chapter 4 (4th edition), the paragraphs that describe “Openness to Experience” include endnotes 43-47. These endnotes point to the published studies covering that concept in the back of the book.

·       Look up the original journal publications noted in the textbook. Follow the guidance provided by our librarian.

·       Often if you find one more current publication that covered the concept, you will see they mention other publications that you can also look up.

·       You can also use library indices to look up other studies relevant to the concept. Again refer to our librarian’s guidance on this.

·       Of course, these are merely suggested steps to get you started. You could skip the endnotes altogether, but given the textbook authors used them as a foundation, it is likely they offer some extremely useful groundwork for your investigation.

·       Have fun. Curiosity is the basis of learning. And digging around for information on something that fascinates us is fulfilling.





It is not easy to read journal articles and fortunately you do not have to read them in the traditional sense. Here though are some tips that will help you use them for your paper:

·       Read the abstract which will be a summary of what the article found.

·       Look at the introduction to get the gist of what the study is about: usually they start with an overview of things we already know about a topic, and then quickly they tell you what their study is going to focus on (that is unique yet related to what we already know). Introductions are also a great place to find reference to other studies that are looking at the same thing so you may find them useful for your paper.

·       Skim some pages to find a visual model or look at the hypotheses they wrote out. That tells you some of the relationships they are going to look at.

·       Skip over the sections entitled Methods and Results which may be the most difficult to discern (though you are certainly welcome to look at them if looking for something specific).

·       Go to the Discussion where you will find they summarize what they found and also discuss why it matters. In the discussion you will also get some good ideas for why their findings are relevant to managers.





·       Your work must be scholarly in nature. Use and reference peer-reviewed research relevant to the concept. Your paper must cite at least five research articles from approved scholarly journals. The following list of peer-reviewed management journals are ones that are deemed acceptable:

o   Academy of Management Annals

o   Academy of Management Discoveries

o   Academy of Management Perspectives

o   Academy of Management Journal

o   Academy of Management Review

o   Administrative Science Quarterly

o   Journal of Applied Psychology

o   Journal of Business and Psychology

o   Journal of Business Ethics

o   Journal of Management

o   Journal of Management Studies

o   Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

o   Journal of Organizational Behavior

o   Leadership Quarterly

o   Management Science

o   Organization Science

o   Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

o   Personnel Psychology

o   Strategic Management Journal

o   Strategic Organization


·       Paper Format = 2000 words maximum (12 pt, Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins), plus Table of Contents, Executive SummaryReferences and Appendices (this means only the body of the paper is subject to word-count constraints). This report should be professional in appearance, form, and content.

o   Aside from the Executive Summary, the paper should be in prose and not bullet points.

o   Use your own words, not someone else’s. On occasion when you may need someone’s wording, such as for a definition appearing in a journal article, use quotation marks, page number and cite the source.

o   Double space and use page numbers

o   Bolding, italicizing or underlining key words in the text is not useful. We are not grading you on the use of buzzwords. The use of buzzwords and jargon is highly discouraged.

o   In order of appearance, this written submission should include:

1.      Cover Page : Title, Course+Number+Section, Professor’s name, Date).

2.      Executive Summary: One page synopsis that is concise but engaging

3.      Body: Introduction, sections and subsections, conclusion. Use headings and subheadings and bridge between sections.

4.      References: APA format for citations and references. See Getting Started with APA Citation Style.

5.      Appendices: Optional (must be referenced in the body of the paper to be considered)

o   References must comprise of peer-reviewed journal articles (found at the library).

§  Find helpful resources at the end of this document from our David Lam Librarians. They are high educated experts and part of their role is to help you find relevant materials.

§  Our librarian will be giving us a session in the 8th class and answer questions you may have

·       Submission

o   Save as pdf. Use file convention located at end of document.

o   Paper due in soft copy via Canvas by the date indicated on Canvas and in your Outline. Late submissions will not be accepted. Begin now!

·       Plagiarism Prevention: In addition to submitting your assignment via Canvas Assignments, you also must submit your written assignment to to confirm academic honesty. TurnitIn will issue the Digital Receipt upon successful submission of your assignment. You must attach this TurnitIn Digital Receipt when submitting your assignment file(s) on Canvas. For information on plagiarism and prevention, visit the Academic Integrity Resource Centre:







Structure & Professionalism (10%)


o   Assignment is submitted in a professional layout including the parts outlined above, use of headings, page numbers etc.

o   All citations and references are in correct APA format (it is your responsibility to know how to do this).

o   Paper is well-presented and cohesive; flow makes sense.


Writing/Grammar (10%)


o   Document is properly edited with no typos or grammatical problems.

o   Work is written mostly in a direct, active voice – the paper is easy to follow and tells a compelling story.

o   There is none of the following: undefined jargon, clichés, overly informal prose.





Practical Translation (30%)

o   Makes a convincing case as to why this concept is important to managers.

o   Provides original examples that illustrate the points being made.

o   Provides an accurate and coherent explanation as to how managers can use the information gleaned from the findings.


Thoroughness (30%)

o   Answers each question that pertains to the concept with sufficient depth and detail.

o   Relies on sufficient peer-reviewed publications (rather than non-peer reviewed).

o   Substantive rather than full of ‘filler’: e.g. each sentence contains new and relevant information rather than repetition, meaningless sentences, wordy prose, irrelevant information.


Accuracy (20%)

o   Use of original sources only (e.g. it is clear that one read and summarized what the original study found rather than merely borrowed from what someone else said a study found).

o   Accurately captures what the research says but use own words (which demonstrates true understanding).

o   Makes the distinction between one’s opinion or judgment versus reporting on what the research says.